Returning the Favor and other Slices of Life

Returning the Favor
Returning the Favor
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Friday, November 02, 2007

Why did the background change color?

Oh, that's what happens when you make a final table? I'd forgotten!

No, I didn't FT any of the BBTwo events. I didn't have the money on Full Tilt Poker last night to actually buy in to one. So I settled in to piss away the last $8 of my online bankroll, and signed up for a 9-person $1 turbo, a 45-person $1 SNG, and a $3 Turbo MTT, with something like 620 people in it.

I spent most of my time focusing on the 9-handed turbo, since I managed to re-suck out on a guy who flopped a set to with 99 to crack my aces, but I rivered an Ace to crack his suckout to take the chip lead early. I didn't really play it very much like a turbo, playing generally pretty tight until we got to the money. The main difference is, if I raised preflop, I just pushed, since any reasonable raise was going to pot-commit me anyway. I picked up a bunch of orphaned blinds that way, and finally managed to take the whole thing down, adding a much-needed $4.50 to my FTP account. That in itself didn't mean much, except to set me freerolling for the rest of the night.

At that point I realized that I was the chip leader in the 45-person SNG, but managed to make a couple of unfortunate decisions to kill that buzz. Unfortunate like taking a look at too many flops with marginal hands and calling off too much of my chip stack on mediocre draws rather than being patient and waiting for better spots. So I busted there in 9th, respectable but out of the money, so in the end - useless.

When I finally turned my attention to the MTT, there were about 300 people left, 99 would cash, and I was hanging around average in chips. I picked up pocket Kings, pushed, picked up the blinds. Picked up AK on the next hand, pushed, picked up the blinds. Picked up AQ on the next hand, pushed from the button over top of the cutoff's raise, and was less than thrilled to see his AK. I liked the Queen on the flop, though. Faded the King and I was off to the races.

Basically, I didn't employ a whole lot of strategy, just wait for big cards and jam a shitload of chips in the middle. I figured that there weren't very many people there who could fold an ace or a pair, so if I raised preflop and an Ace came on the board, I was done. I picked up the chip lead when we got down to three tables, and re-took it when we condensed to two tables. That was the end of my chip leader days, as I lost a couple of significant pots when I called with ATC defending my blinds against a short stack.

As the big stack at the table (nearly 200K in chips with the blinds at 1,000/2,000 - my nearest chaser had 150K in chips) I felt like it was the right move to call an all in from a shorty when it cost me less than 15% of my stack. It might not have been the exact right move, but I was willing to take a couple chances to eliminate another player late in the event.

Other chances I was happy to take were coinflips late. When we got down to 2 tables, I re-raised a MP raiser with As-Js. Action folded around to the raiser, who shoved. She had me covered, but I figured anything from 77 all the way up to AK was possible, but I eliminated Aces and Kings, thinking that she may have flat-called with a real monster. So I thought for a second about the hands I thought she may have, decided that I was at worst a coin flip, and that late in the tourney I was going to have to win a couple of coin flips to survive, so I made the call.

She turned up 99, I hit a Jack on the turn, and I doubled through her. I think it was the right move given the escalating blinds and the fact that it was a turbo. I probably lay that down in a live event with longer levels, and I definitely lay it down early in the tournament, but at that point, I think it was the right call.

The only hands that stand out to me as misplayed are the AQ hand where I ran into AK, because I read him for a steal and was very wrong, but got my lucky suckout, and my last hand. I was in the BB with KJs, and the SB made a 3xBB raise. I thought he might be stealing, as he had been at or near the top of the chip counts for most of the later rounds, so he was decent. I decided to go against my first instinct and just smooth called. My gut had said SHOVE, but I didn't, and in retrospect that likely cost me my tournament. The flop came down 10-high, which missed the range of hands I put his on, all of which including either two face cards or an Ace-paint. I thought briefly about him holding AT when he led out on the flop, but decided he was making a standard C-bet, and shoved all in.

In retrospect, it was a shitty move on my part. The only thing that calls me in that spot is a hand that beats me, so I should have let it go. I think for the most part, I played well in this event except for those two hands. There were a couple other suckouts I made and a couple I took, but I'm not one of those people who thinks you can win a large tournament without sucking out, or at the very least winning multiple coin flips. So I picked up $50 for my 7th-place finish, and may give a few more MTTs a shot here and there in the near future.

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